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Best Seller (1987)

A hitman approachs a writer to help him create the next best seller on his career, but the violent world he was a part of has other plans.

Director:

John Flynn

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Cleve
Brian Dennehy ... Dennis Meechum
Victoria Tennant ... Roberta Gillian
Allison Balson ... Holly Meechum
Paul Shenar ... David Madlock
George Coe ... Graham
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Mrs. Foster
Mary Carver ... Cleve's Mother
Sully Boyar ... Monks
Kathleen Lloyd ... Annie
Charles Tyner ... Cleve's Father (as Harold Tyner)
E. Brian Dean E. Brian Dean ... Taxi Driver
Jeffrey Josephson Jeffrey Josephson ... Pearlman
Edward Blackoff Edward Blackoff ... Thorn
Branscombe Richmond ... Longshoreman #1
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Storyline

Hit man Cleve approaches writer/cop Dennis about a story for his next book: How Cleve made a living, working for one of the most powerful politicians in the country. To get the story right, they travel around the country to gather statements and evidence, while strong forces use any means they can to keep the story untold. Written by Lars Skogan <si2_ls92362@debet.nhh.no>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A hired assassin. A cop turned author. Together they're rewriting the rulebook on the Mob. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Cover See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,278,150
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Woods and director John Flynn enjoyed working together so much that the two had planned on doing another film together. See more »

Goofs

The movie very clearly states that the main action takes place in 1987. Meechum is given an invitation from Madlock to an afternoon party on "Saturday, April 22nd at noon". April 22nd fell on a Wednesday in 1987. See more »

Quotes

Cleve: You need me. We need each other.
See more »

Soundtracks

PLAISIR D'AMOUR
Written by Jean Paul Martini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cult Movies 6
6 November 1998 | by TYLERdurden74See all my reviews

6. BEST-SELLER (action, 1987) In 1972, Policeman Meechum (Brian Dennehy) survives an armed robbery, which in turn inspires him to write a book about his ordeal. It becomes a best seller. Years later he meets Cliff (James Woods), a mysterious loner who saves his life. Cliff knows many personal things about Meechum's life and tells him that he can provide him with another assured best seller. In order for Meechum to believe him, Cliff takes him on a tour of his previous work as a hit-man. An uneasy alliance is formed, as Cliff's darkest secrets reveal his own.

Critique: There are many reasons to like Best-Seller. It has a good, entertaining premise (a rogue assassin on the loose), the moody cinematography (another Adam Greenberg job), and displays a strong performance from the always reliable Brain Dennehy. But best of all, it has what I consider to be James Woods' best role to date.

This capriciously underrated 1-time character-actor has given excellent performances in many films including: the sleazy TV-producer in David Cronenberg's interesting, albeit obscured masterpiece 'Videodrome' (1983), his red-neck southerner in 'The Onion Field' (1979-his breakthrough film), and in Oliver Stone's sadly neglected 'Salvador' (1986- for which he received an Academy Nominee).

In most of his films, Woods has specialized in playing low-life has-beens, who have few redeeming qualities. The only fault I saw in his earlier roles was immaturity, and the lack thereof of making his characters work. In Best-Seller, he plays it cool. The character of Cliff knows what he wants and how to get it, and proves himself worthy of Meechum's respect. What better actor to give us a tour through the life of a criminal, hit-man, sleaze-ball, all-nice guy?

QUOTES: Cliff: "Will power is what distinguishes the amateur from the professional. Do you have it Dennis? Will power?..Let's hope so."


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